Astro 278, Winter 2012
AGNs and Galaxies: The AGN phenomenon, the growth of
black holes, and their connection to galaxies.
The purpose of this 2-hour-per-week seminar is two-fold:
First, we will gain an introduction to the vast AGN/galaxy literature, including
the many methods of identifying AGNs; the underlying physical picture that
explains the wide variety of AGN phenomena; the global number and luminosity
evolution of AGNs and their contribution to extragalactic backgrounds; the
demographics of AGN as a function of cosmic epoch; the coevolution of black
holes and galaxies; and the nature of AGN feedback.
Second, the course will feature a professional-development aspect.
Accordingly, enrolled students will not only give an oral presentation (one
per quarter) on one of the topics listed above, but, every week, each
enrolled student will submit a short writing assignment (< 1 page) based on
the week's assigned reading. These writing samples will then form the basis
of an in-class writing workshop, in which we will go over the principles of
scientific writing and critical thinking. These will include the macroscopic
principles of writing a scientific paper, as well as the nitty-gritty
details of constructing well-written sentences and paragraphs.
Thursday 11:00 am - 12:50 pm; 3-735 PAB (3rd Floor Classroom)
Special meeting time:
Format & Grading:
In each class meeting, we will have two presentations
on the topics of the day. Each of the student
presentations will last for roughly 30 minutes (20 minutes
presentation plus 10 minutes discussion), and should be journal-club
style. There will be assigned reading for the whole class, consisting
of 1 or 2 papers per topic. Additionally, I will provide a suggested
reading list for each topic, which should provide a good starting
point for presenters, though please feel free to choose
your own papers for your presentation
topic. The second half of each meeting will consist of a writing
workshop on the fundamentals of scientific writing and critically evaluating
The grading for this course will simply be based on your presentations (one
for each student), participation in discussion, and handing in
your weekly writing assignments. I expect that everyone will do just fine!
Scientific Writing and Communication
This is definitely worth buying!!! An excellent reference for years to come!
Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words
Also nice, and a short read.
The Elements of Style
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
This book can be found on-line here.
Topics and Readings :
Schedule of Topics:
Week #1: Introduction
Hoffmann, Ch. 1 & 10
Week #2: AGN Selection: Optical, X-ray, Radtio
This website: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~aes/AST278
CCLE website: https://ccle.ucla.edu/course/view.php?name=12W-ASTR278-1